Who inherits if there is no will? (intestate succession)

If the deceased did not make a will or the will is held to be invalid, the rules on intestacy apply. The rules will also apply to property which belongs to the testator at the time of death, but the testator failed to dispose of in the will.

The following rules apply:

  1. If the deceased is married and has children: half of the property devolves onto his wife and the other half will devolve onto his children (or their descendants) in equal portions;
  2. If the deceased is only survived by a spouse: the spouse alone will inherit the deceased;
  3. If the deceased is only survived by the children: the children will inherit him in equal portions;
  4. If the deceased is not survived by any descendant or a spouse, then:
  1. The inheritance devolves on the nearest ascendant;
  2. If both the ascendants and the siblings are alive, half will be shared by the ascendant(s) while the other half is shared between the siblings;
  3. If there are no ascendants but siblings, the siblings divide the inheritance between them;
  4. if there are no ascendants and no siblings, then the nearest person collateral in whatever line such collateral may be.

Succession between collaterals shall not extend beyond the twelfth degree. Where any persons entitled to succeed do not survive the deceased, the inheritance shall devolve on the Government of Malta.


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